If it weren't so serious it would be so ridiculous as to be funny.
According to a blog post on the CampusReform.org website, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is hosting an "orgasm workshop" designed to help female undergraduates "achieve more and greater orgasms."
The program, which is reportedly listed on the school's official calendar of events and, thereby, implicitly sanctioned by the administration, is being put on at a cost of nearly $3,500.00 by the the university's Office of Diversity and Equity's Women's Center. There is no minimum age set for attendees and, organizers say, it is open to both men and women. Nevertheless one feels compelled to ask, "What were they thinking when they agreed to do this?"
The short answer is they probably weren't. It's another reflection of the arrogance of those in publicly-supported "ivory towers" who think they can do whatever it is they want with the taxpayers' money. University spokesperson Patricia Mattern told the blog the workshop was being held as part of the university's commitment to research and to education. "As a research institution, we study, publish, and educate on a vast range of topics, including human sexuality," she said in an E-mail—as though that excused the outrageous nature of the planned event.
Conducting the workshop will be two apparently self-described "sex educators" who, and this is the frightening part, have conducted similar programs at colleges and universities across the United States. According to their website, the blog reported, the two "use a mixture of interactive activities, lecture, discussion, multimedia, funny stories, and question and answer" as instructional aids.
It's not a question of "prudishness" or the idea that people are uncomfortable with discussions of human sexuality in public. It's a matter of taste, of appropriateness even. The hard working mothers and fathers who are paying the bills for their children's college education are, with programs like these, being treated with conspicuous contempt by the university and its faculty.
Can anyone argue that attendance at such a workshop, which is voluntary, will do anything to further the pursuit of a college degree or to find a job once graduation rolls around? Will listing "Is able to achieve/help a woman achieve more and greater orgasms" on a resume really help a person get hired—especially during Barack Obama's anemic, jobless recovery.
There are too many things wrong with this program to be listed here, starting with its blatant appeal to hedonism and working downwards from there. At a time when everyone, including the nation's colleges and universities, are being forced to tighten their belts, this seems like more than just a waste of money; it's an outrage, an affront to everyone who is having trouble making ends meet. The amount being spent on this workshop would probably pay for books and other materials for at least a year for two students already enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. It's enough to feed a family of four for almost half a year.
Times are tough all over. Budgets are being squeezed. If the Minnesota Legislature is looking for a place to cut spending, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has apparently stepped up to the front of the line and volunteered to have its book examined. In the total scheme of things, $3500.00 is not a lot to a university but by cutting state aid to the school by that exact amount, it would send a strong message to institutions of higher learning, in the state and all over the country, that this kind of nonsense will no longer be tolerated by the people who are actual footing the bill.